The latest “Sujismundo”
An advertising campaign is being launched in Rio to convince cariocas to improve their behavior. Created by the DPZ advertising agency in conjunction with the NGO RioComoVamos, it’s based on a character called Mané, or jerk, who wears a smart-aleck smile and an ice cream cone plastered to his forehead. In Brazil, a sorvetaço, or a big ice cream [to the forehead], describes a royal screwup.
The campaign defines unacceptable behaviors and encourages good citizenship. A mané doesn’t clean up after his dog, parks illegally, litters, and drives on the shoulder, among other taboos.
The campaign was presented during a seminar Dec. 13 at the Rio de Janeiro Commercial Association, organized by RioComoVamos (which just launched an updated version of its Rio de Janeiro city indicators, with some surprising statistics). At the meeting, municipal conservation undersecretary Joaquim Monteiro de Carvalho said that despite 250,000 trash baskets Rio has too much litter. He urged smokers to put out their cigarettes on the metal plaques set into each basket for this purpose, and then throw the butt inside. Cigarette butts aren’t biodegradable and can’t be collected on the beach. “[The trash collecting company] Comlurb is our most admired company, but the city is dirty”, Monteiro de Carvalho exclaimed. “It doesn’t make sense.”
The campaign will have a site (under construction), a Twitter account and commercials, and will partner with businesses and run periodic Mané of the week, month or year contests. Cariocas are encouraged to document “mané behavior” in photos and videos, which will be made available on the site. For those who have Facebook accounts, part of the campaign can be seen here.
The Mané character brings to mind a character featured in a 1970s federal campaign for cleanliness and hygiene, Sujismundo. He was popular, but unconvincing. Maybe this time, with Rio busily preparing to receive millions of visitors, cariocas will finally change their jerky ways.